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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2009;23(4):265-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2009.03.009. Epub 2009 May 8.

Serum selenium and selenoprotein P status in adult Danes - 8-year followup.

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Department of Nutrition, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Mørkhøj Bygade 19, DK-2860 Søborg, Denmark.


Selenium is an essential micronutrient important to human health. The main objective of this study is to describe serum selenium and selenoprotein P status in two samples of the Danish population. In addition, the influence of various factors potentially associated with selenium status was investigated. Blood samples from a total of 817 randomly selected subjects from two cities in Denmark were analyzed. Half of the samples were collected in 1997-1998 and the other half in 2004-2005. Samples from women aged 18-22, 40-45 and 60-65 years, and men aged 60-65 years were selected for this study. All subjects had filled in a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and a questionnaire with information about smoking habits, alcohol consumption and exercise habits. Mean serum selenium level was 98.7+/-19.8microg/L and median selenoprotein P level was 2.72 (2.18-3.49)mg/L. Serum selenium and selenoprotein P increased with age, and selenoprotein P was higher in men than in women. Serum selenium levels decreased by 5% on average from 1997-98 to 2004-05 (P<0.001), whereas selenoprotein P level increased (P<0.001). The intake of fish correlated weakly with serum selenium level (r=0.14, P<0.001) but not with selenoprotein P level. Smoking status, alcohol intake, exercise habits, BMI and medicine use did not influence selenium status. It is concluded that selenium status in this Danish population is at an acceptable level. No major groups with regard to age, sex or lifestyle factors could be identified as being in risk for selenium deficiency.

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